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Higher Alcohols

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Matt Millward • Tucson, Arizona asks,
Q

I recently started drinking mead that I brewed and have been aging for about a year. Some friends that I have let try it have mentioned that it smells like nail polish remover. As far as taste goes it tastes good and I would love to keep drinking it, however, I read an article in BYO that mentioned higher alcohols. I understand this process and it is quite possible this is the reason why my mead smells like nail polish remover. So my real question is can I safely keep drinking this mead or is it something I should pour down the drain? More directly, are fermented drinks that have higher alcohols safe to drink?

A
Before you dump your mead down the drain, please read my answer! The aroma you describe is the distinctive scent of ethyl acetate. This nail-polish smelling compound is the most common acetate
Response by Ashton Lewis.